UofG Scientists awarded £4.5m funding grant from Cancer Research UK

Published: 15 February 2018

University of Glasgow scientists are set to receive a major grant for pioneering research into cancer.

University of Glasgow scientists are set to receive a major grant for pioneering research into cancer.

Cancer Research UK is planning to invest nearly £4.5 million over the next five years in ground-breaking work at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) in Glasgow.

The grant will allow doctors and scientists to continue researching and testing better and kinder treatments for patients.Pancreatic Cancer

The Cancer Research UK Glasgow CTU – based within Glasgow University at the city’s Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre – gives people with cancer access to innovative treatments by linking laboratory discoveries to clinical research in hospitals and clinics in Glasgow and across the UK.

Trials are currently underway at the Cancer Research UK Glasgow CTU to help find new and better treatments for patients with brain tumours, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Every year, around 31,700 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.

Cancer Research UK’s CTUs specialise in the design, delivery and analysis of trials that bring the latest scientific developments to patients all over the UK. They’re a vital part of the charity’s research network, helping shape the clinical research landscape in the UK and internationally.

Professor Robert Jones, Cancer Research UK Glasgow CTU lead, said: “We are delighted that Cancer Research UK has awarded this grant to the Clinical Trials Unit. The cancer research programme in Glasgow is fully geared towards making new discoveries and translating those discoveries into real improvements for patients.”

He continued: “Clinical trials are vital to test new treatments. For example, we are now running the PRIMUS trials in pancreatic cancer, a common cancer for which there are currently few effective treatments.”

The PRIMUS trials are part of Precision-Panc, a major programme of research being led by Cancer Research UK scientists in Glasgow that could transform pancreatic cancer trials in the UK.

Professor Jones explained: “Patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have tumour tissue sent to labs in Glasgow for genetic testing. Depending on the results of this testing, the patient is then offered one of a growing suite of clinical trials which we hope will be best suited to the particular form of the disease that they have.

“We believe that this approach will result in better treatment, by avoiding the side effects of the current ‘one size fits all’ chemotherapy and offering treatments which will be more specific to the individual patient’s tumour.”

The CTUs aim to bring better treatments to cancer patients in the UK faster through both adult and children’s networks.

The latest funding announcement follows a major review by the charity of all its Cancer Research UK CTUs. This has resulted in £45million being invested into eight units across the UK, one of the charity’s largest investments in clinical research to date.

The review was conducted by an international panel of experts and the competition was fierce.

Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland, said: “This crucial investment recognises the fantastic research taking place in Glasgow. It ensures researchers can take full advantage of our most promising scientific discoveries and translate them into new tests and treatments for patients.

“One-in-two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives - so it’s reassuring to know that, thanks to our supporters, Cancer Research UK is able to fund some of the best and most promising research here in Scotland, to help more people survive.

Victoria continued: “There are so many ways to support Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving work, from signing up to Walk All Over Cancer in March to entering Race for Life, with events taking place at locations all around Scotland from May through to September; or giving time to volunteer in our shops.”

“Survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress – but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.”

Cancer Research UK is investing a total of £10 million in the Precision-Panc project which aims to develop personalised treatments for pancreatic cancer patients, improving the options and outcomes for a disease where survival rates have remained stubbornly low. 

Enquiries: ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk // 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831

First published: 15 February 2018